transfering files with Xbee

I am new to Arduino but I am thinking of getting one to make a trail camera that uses a motion sensor to activate the trigger for the camera. I have seen many tutorials on this. However I want to be able to grab the images off the camera or another flash drive connected to the Arduino wirelessly to a PC or laptop. Is there a way to transmit files wirelessly, maybe using a xbee? And if so when using a digital camera with built in flash card, how would I connect to flash card to the xbee as well as for the camera to use to store photos? or is there a simpler way to do it with regards to where the files are stored from the camera?

I plan on doing it with the CircuitsAtHome PTP library and a Canon DSLR camera. I am considering that it would be best to transfer thumbnail objects only.

that sounds like a awesome plan. However the two camera models mentioned that will definitely work are around the $900 to $1400 range. I was looking to spend no more than $200 on the camera itself. I was hoping to use one of the ones I already had. Is there any other way to approach this? Maybe just going with a Camera CMOS chip and saving to a flash, I dont know how that would be different just asking. I have found a similar system ( its the WGI Pulse 10x. There are two things I dont like about it that I feel I could improve using the Arduino. One its range says 300 feet, however owners have reported half that range and less. Also you need to press a remote control button and be within range for the FTP function to come on. This remote initiated FTP switch would be cool to integrate into the serial port of the computer to make it come on. Basically I have a computer that would be in rage and that I could remote to via, however I would not be there to push the remote control button. I would really like to know that doing this project is feasible and would like someone to point me in the write direction so I can purchase my first Arduino board. Thats so much for the first reply. Or maybe you do know of a cheaper cam that will definitely work within my price range.

can the xbee even transfer actual files? can someone point me in this direction of my project?

I have the Bushnell Trophycam. It takes <2ma of power so the AA batteries could last for many months. The Passive IR is very sensitive to even a large bug or a mouse 30m away. Too small to see in a picture. It depends on the outdoor temperature.

The PTP library will work with most Canon’s even the cheap consumer models. I have the 500D T1i DSLR which was $200. The quality of your WGI image and my Bushnell are OK, but they do not compare to a DSLR which costs about the same without any additional hardware. With a USB extender I can view what the camera is seeing from 300m away. Would you be interested in those details?

Otherwise we can use XBee to view the thumbnails while the camera takes the pictures under control of the Arduino with PIR sensor.

Certainly a Uno can press a button, but I don’t understand how it will trigger and why in your case.

yes sbright, I would definitely be insterested in seeing how to view from 300m away with a usb extender. I dont even know what that is. I would also be interested in seeing how we could do it with the xbee. You are confused about the pressing of the button. To my understaning with the gwi x10 system to activate or turn on the FTP you must press a remote control button that they give you in the kit. Then you can wirelessly download all your photos via FTP. My guess is so the FTP is not on all the time sucking up battery juice. I will send you my email if you want to send me the info that way or I dont know if you could just post it here. I think I might be ordering my first Arduino board because of you today sbright. THANKS SOO MUCH!! p.s. my father-in-law has a bunch of the bushnel trail cameras and he says they last several months with regular batteries in them or over a year with lithium ones, just in case you were interested.

I understand now. Why would you want to wirelessly download all the prior pictures if you're not there at the PC to view them?

I use PC software called EOS Utility that comes with Canon DSLRs. It gives you Live View and the ability to control every feature of the camera remotely even video. It does this via USB so you have 2 choices. If you want decent video you can buy a USB 2.0 extender that goes maybe 50m tops. Or you can buy a USB to ethernet CABLE (not ethernet protocol) extender. Mine goes 300m and it's cheap. But you cannot see a good frame rate for video. It is very jerky. Still you can control every aspect of the camera reliably. Especially the shutter!

My future goal is to control some simple functions via XBee and the PTP library while slowly viewing live thumbnail images. Will keep you updated.

Basically this camera will be at my buddys farm and I will remote to my laptop in his shed about 80m away. I would like to see if there are deer currently using the trails and how big they are ect. He is an hour away so If I could get them onto that laptop I could FTP them over to my home computer. also using I can see the pictures on that laptop without FTPing them over to my home computer if I dont want to. Is this usb 2.0 extender wireless? If not I dont know how this would work. I do not need live feed. I just want to be able to transfer the pics wirelessly to a nearby computer.

So i guess xbee can not transfer file? I have only seen it used to transfer signals and commands ect. Does anyone know if it can transfer files?

Does anyone know if it can transfer files?

Of course it can. Files are just collections of bytes.

But, think about the size of the file, and the speed at which it can transfer that number of bytes, and decide is several minutes per picture is acceptable.

Also, think about how you will access that "file". If the file is on a camera, does the camera have a way of accepting a command to spool the file to the Arduino? How is the camera connected to the Arduino?

If the file is on a memory stick, do you even have the hardware required to access it? The software?

You can transfer a thumbnail or JPG file from the camera using the PTP library. As Paul said the Xbee sees a file as a collection of bytes, one at a time.

I was just made aware of the numbers of shields that are avalible and now i am thinking a wifi b/g shield would be a better choice for transmitting the files. Yes I think this PTP library is the way to go. Thank you for assuring me that sending files can be done. Can someone point out a tuturial for doing so? I havent even ordered my Arduino yet, I just want to make sure wat I am planing can be done to my specifications. thanks so much for your input bright and paul.

now i am thinking a wifi b/g shield

b/g? blue green? Does color matter?

Why don't you post a link to the WiFi shield you are considering?

The PTP library author has not yet finished the library to access file objects on the camera. It does not appear to be difficult because those objects are just objects in the code. It is not recommended for a beginner programmer. I will get to it soon if no one else does first. Also Google DSLRemote.

OK how about this: Could I use a USB host shield for the Arduino to use the usb port of the camera to transfer the files through to WiFi shield? Also to save battery life, could I use the Xbee to turn on the usb shield and Wifi shield? If so can you point me in the direction of doing so?